Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Autumn images...

This is a little piece I have done for the Miniatures show/sale that the Blue Pig Gallery has in November and December. They are two small oil on canvas paintings of aspen leaves, mounted together in a double frame. The paintings themselves are 2"x2", or life sized.

This is an HDR photo of a small mushroom on a log that I took with my iPhone camera. The new HDR camera feature shoots 3 pictures really fast, one lighter, one as is, and one darker, then it merges them with the best features of each shot. The non-HDR shot of this was much darker, with a lot fewer details in the shadow area on the underside of the mushroom. I tend to like darker shots with lots of shadow, but this lightens it up and still keeps the shadows. Sometimes its better; sometimes it's not.

This is the same mushroom, taken with the Hipstamatic camera on my iPhone. You can see that, without the HDR, a lot of shadow detail is lost.

And finally, here's Gus, who loves that I have been drying the sheets outside! He jumps on them as soon as they're brought in, before I can fold them, and claims them as his nap place. I have taken to trying to fold them outside whenever I can, as he sometimes does not want to end the nap!

I am packing for a trip to San Francisco. We leave on Friday. I may be able to post stuff from the iPhone; I'm not real sure what to expect from the trip. I'm hoping for inspiration!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Going my way...

Yesterday I put the color layer on the finally-dry grisaille I had painted last week. It was actually fun to do a painting this way. Once I had the tonal values and shapes in place, the color was a piece of cake! But I don't like the double drying time. I am impatient.... which is really silly for me to admit, as I am a tapestry weaver! But one of the reasons I paint, in addition to weaving, is that I like the immediacy of painting, in contrast with the slowing down of life that weaving requires.

Anyway, "Going My Way" is 8x10" oil on canvas.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

IF topic: Old Fashioned (2)

A face sketch, which I'll post for a second Illustration Friday submission. It's about 8x10", oil on canvas. It was all painted in Burnt Sienna, then a bit more color added at the end for the darks and the clothes. No drawing, just a brush sketch. She is quite 'old fashioned,' I think! (Especially those heavy eyebrows!)

It's that wonderful old-fashioned idea that others come first and you come second. This was the whole ethic by which I was brought up. Others matter more than you do, so 'don't fuss, dear; get on with it.' ~ Audrey Hepburn

Friday, September 24, 2010

IF topic: Old Fashioned

For the Illustration Friday topic of "Old Fashioned" this week, I'll post this watercolor that I did a number of years ago. I'd forgotten all about it until I went to my friend's home, and there it was! I had forgotten that it belongs to her now! I no longer do watercolors, but this one I did enjoy doing. It is of some antique pieces that belonged to my mother-in-law. It is not a small piece, but is a half-sheet, so is 15"x20".

I do have several other things that I'd like to do later in the week that may fit this topic, so I may post another "Old Fashioned" piece later.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ready, set.... well, not quite yet ready....

I am trying to get myself ready for the November/December exhibit and sale at the gallery. It is to be of miniatures, 8x10" or smaller. I sold quite well at this exhibit last year. So I'm hoping this year will be even better. But I need to get some work created, and it needs drying time. I started the above 8x10" oil painting today. I am wanting to do a few 'experiments' as I go, so I have painted this one as a grisaille, or a tonal underpainting. I have never done this before. It will need to dry, then I'll paint over it with color. The three cows are mostly black anyway, but I will put some reflected color in them, as well as color in the landscape. The actual underpainting under the grisaille is yellow, and you can see a bit of that showing through. After this layer dries and I do the final painting, I will post the finished piece.

I am having to make some hard creative choices, as I realize I can't do everything anymore. Of course, I never could do everything, but I used to think I could, and I used to make the attempt on a regular basis, and sometimes came close enough to convince myself that I truly was Wonder Woman. Now evidence has proved otherwise. I need to get some paintings done for the gallery; I need/want to get weaving on the "August" tapestry done to empty my loom for a large commission I have taken on for a local church, and I need to design that commission tapestry. So I have decided that I cannot also design and weave a small tapestry to enter in the ATA juried small tapestry exhibit. A hard decision to make, as I was in charge of that exhibit last time, and would like to support it with an entry. I guess I'll just send the entry fee in as a donation. Sigh... I am not Wonder Weaver anymore, either. Hard to admit. Those days of 5-6 8-hour weaving days per week no longer exist for me.

So long, Wonder Woman. It was nice to pretend to be you for awhile.... (I liked the whip.)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Work and play...

I have been being a 'good housewife' the past few days; getting some fall cleaning done. A lot of it has been in the kitchen (cleaning the pantry, etc.), but I have found a few moments to play with my iPhone cameras.

These first three photos were with Hipstamatic. I quite love it! I especially like the shot of my old typewriter on the corner of my desk. As you can see below, not much has been getting done in the studio.

The photos below were taken with a free camera app, called "Yes We Cam," for obvious reasons. It posterizes whatever you shoot, and gives it either a 'Hope' or 'Change' borderline. (I confess that I added the word 'no' in Photoshop to Booker's photo, which I felt was more appropriate after a day of his 'help' yesterday.)

Here is my Peace rose, which is blooming beautifully right now, after a summer of looking like it would never bloom again. (See, I didn't give up Hope!)

With the exception of the added word, 'no' on Booker, these photos haven't been altered in any way after they were shot in my iPhone. The camera apps do all of the effects. Pretty cool! I also have free camera apps called RetroCamera and SketchCamera. I'll play with them another day.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

In my neck of the woods...

I have woven a bit more than 3 inches on the "August" tapestry this past week. That gives me that 'I'm committed to this project' feeling, which is a Good Thing. The bottom half of the tapestry will weave quickly, as it is fairly simple and free of those slowing-me-down fiddley bits. By the time I get to the fiddley bits, I'll be ready to deal with them. That, at least, is my plan.

This is one of the plein aire paintings I did last weekend in Aspen, or rather, above Aspen.
5x7" oil on canvas. Not a masterpiece, but it was fun to do, and it makes me remember sitting in the beautiful aspen forest painting it.

We went to cut wood again this past weekend, and my husband took this picture of Booker and me. I had to crop off my legs, because I had on my painting pants, having painted the cabin kitchen. It was beautiful in the forest, and the aspens are just beginning to have some color. My favorite time of year!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Try to remember....

After having been way from the loom all summer, I sat down to begin my new tapestry yesterday. As always, when I begin again, I looked at the basket of beautiful yarns I had labored into balls, and at the cartoon behind the taut warp and thought, "do I remember how to do this?" I wasn't sure that I did.

But my fingers remembered. They picked out two strands of yarn and wound them into a butterfly.

And my feet remembered. They pressed down on the treadles to open a warp shed for the butterfly to pass through.

And my hands remembered. They picked up the beater and packed the weft down tight.

At the end of the day, my remembering body had reminded me that, yes, I Do know how to do this, which was a great relief. We had woven a bit more than an inch of the new tapestry. We had begun....

Monday, September 13, 2010

Motivation in the mail!

I arrived back home from a few days in Aspen to find my yarn for the "August" tapestry had arrived in my absence. Beautiful colors!

You might think that, having been in one of the 'most beautiful places on earth' for the past three days, I would have more to say about it than I do have. But pretty much all I can say about Aspen is that it is not the place for me. It is a very surreal place. However, if you have a pile of money sitting around needing to be spent, two out of three places there have a for sale sign on them. Sotheby's seems to be the realty company to contact, should you be in the market for such a place. A sign of the times, I guess; the For Sale sign. Aspen has been listed as the most expensive property site in the world. I don't know if that is still true, but I don't think I will be moving there at any time, ever.

We took a short hike above the ghost town of Ashcroft on Saturday afternoon, when my husband had time free from his 'conferencing.' As you can see, the fall colors are just barely beginning, up towards the timberline. In about two weeks, the bright green areas will have turned to pure gold.

My goal, now that the yarn has arrived, is to get in at least 1-2 hours of weaving a day. I have lots of other irons in the fire right now (as usual) but I will not let that dissuade me! To the loom...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I can't compete!

This weaver has taken up residence on our porch. We can't bring ourselves to make her move on. She is so industrious! She weaves and kills mosquitoes.

I haven't been able to work any more on the new tapestry, as the yarns are still on their way from 'there' to 'here.' I am doing up some fall cleaning, though, so when they arrive, I'll be able to get to the loom with a clear conscience.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Final version: "A Good Book"

I have made a few subtle, but helpful I think, changes to this painting of my grand-daughter. I think I'm pretty happy with it now. I hope so, as it needs to dry and be framed to go to an exhibit shortly! Sometimes you need to stop, just because it's time to stop! And sometimes I need to stop because I'm afraid of where anymore changes will take me....

So. Done is done.

"A Good Book" Oil on canvas, 16" x 20"

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Change can be good...

As I was cleaning my studio this afternoon, I ran across this painting. It was in a dark frame. I had never been very excited about the painting, but something about it won't let me just pitch it. So I took it out of the dark frame, and set it into a gold frame. I liked it better, but it occurred to me that the white shape in the upper right really looked out of place. So I darkened it. Now it looks much better, especially in the gold frame. I almost like it now!

The color now makes it feel almost musicial to me.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

IF: Dessert

I had a busy, busy day at the gallery today, but managed to do this little 4x4" sketch for the Illustration Friday topic this week, which is 'Dessert." I thought this double dip ice cream cone could qualify! In fact, I'd have liked to have eaten it myself! Though I can paint little bits with customers in the gallery, I can't really eat in front of them, and it took me 4 hours to eat all the tiny bites of my peanut butter sandwich. Almost licked the canvas as I painted!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Some help, please...

This is a painting of my grand-daughter that I have been working on for awhile. I finally at least have all of the underpainting covered! I asked my 'critiquers' for some input today, and they both (husband and a friend) said it was 'awfully yellow.' But one suggested I lighten the yellow background,and the other suggested I darken it. I took a photo and made many different adjustments in Photoshop, such as the version below, with a whiter background. I hated any version that darkens the background, but maybe the lighter one helps the figure come forward a bit.

What do you think? Or do you have any other helpful suggestions?

It is 16"x20", oil on canvas.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Today is the first day...

Well, OK. Today is really not the first day of anything. (And I have always hated that bumper-sticker-saying.) But last week was the beginning of school here, and yesterday was the beginning of September. Those two calendar events always energize me. Back-to-school time and fall both seem so full of purpose. The children passing our house for the two schools in the next block have 'places to be and things to do.' And the animals are busy hoarding away their winter stores. It always makes me feel as if I should be busier and more purposeful, as well.

As I often do in September, I began a new tapestry yesterday. I didn't get far, as I need to wait for ordered yarns to arrive before I proceed much further. But I got the heading and the hem woven, and enough of the weft put in that I can tell myself that I have Begun. I also have a painting that I entered in Colorado's largest art exhibit, which is not yet completed. As I have to deliver it to the exhibit for jurying in a couple of weeks, I need to get busy, so I won't be delivering a wet painting! But first... I will be doing some pre-winter pruning in the yard today. And I have a strange urge to clean out and re-stock my pantry. Muchas cosas para hacer.